📸 5 Best Lenses for Travel Photography In 2024 [Guide]

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

Did you ever wonder what the best lens for travel photography is?

The chance is relatively high than you did since many people start buying cameras and optics to create and relive travel memories.

Despite traveling becoming one of the most popular and documented hobbies on Earth, the internet still doesn’t offer many comprehensive buying guides for photography.

image for travel photography lenses guide

With that idea in mind, I decided to make an ultimate guide on how to get proper photographic gear to transfer your travel memories into digital eternity.

Since photographers have specific tastes in lenses, I chose to pick optics from different manufacturers and other performances, along with varying camera types.

So, by reading through the article, you will find the lens that goes best with your given camera brand and personal preferences.

 
Best All-in-one
 

Panasonic LUMIX 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 Lens

Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II Lens

Sony 18-105mm f/4G Lens

5.0
3.5
4.5

Panasonic LUMIX 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 Lens

5.0
Best All-in-one

Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II Lens

3.5

Sony 18-105mm f/4G Lens

4.5
Panasonic 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 Lens

When it comes to image quality, at 8 mm of focal length the pictures appear tack-sharp and when you utilize filters you will get great results.

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Panasonic is the best lens for travel photography because it has a nano-surface coating that reduces ghosting and flare issues. Its aspherical elements ensure proper crystal-clear images. The Panasonic LUMIX 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 has fast focus tracking enabled by a 240 fps linear motor. Autofocus performance offers an excellent 4K video, and if your camera enables this feature, you will appreciate the possibility of capturing amazing videos. 

Moreover:

The lens offers a wide-angle view, so if your goal is to capture landscapes or ancient buildings that spread in width, this Panasonic will make that task quite comfortable. Another excellent point goes to the design. The body is made out of metal, and it is weatherproof. I didn’t face any problems during the testing, no matter the rain or the snow. It operated flawlessly in all conditions. The aperture is also another selling point. 

Despite being an f/2.8 (not a fast prime), it captures sufficient light to produce precise results even under tedious weather conditions. Regarding image quality, at 8mm of focal length, the pictures appear tack-sharp, and when you utilize filters (for a snowy or a super-sunny day), you will get great results. From a broader angle, it also offers splendid results with no vignetting issues.

Pros

  • Autofocus, 4K video
  • Weather-proof

Cons

  • The aperture could be wider

Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II Lens

Olympus M. Zuiko 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II Lens sports a dust and splash-proof body, with the Zuiko extra-low reflection optical coating.

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  • Lens Type: Wide Angle, Telephoto
  • Mounting Type: Micro Four Thirds
  • Focal Length Range: 14-150 millimeters
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.5 meters
  • Weight: 0.63 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.27 x 2.52 x 2.52 inches

Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 is one of the best lenses for travel. Olympus offers a minimum focus distance of 20 inches, with an angle of view of 75° – 8.2°. The lens is constructed with 15 elements in 11 groups. It has a Zuiko extra-low reflection optical coating, which is one of the reasons it is the best lens for travel photography in its price range. The package includes a lens hood, cap, and rear lens cap, and the lens itself is dust and splash-proof. 

I tested it thoroughly in various weather conditions, and it met all the criteria necessary to call it weather resistant. The range of lenses starts at 14mm of focal length and goes up to 150mm, so it is one of the most versatile photographic lenses you could encounter in this range. The range is impressive but even more remarkable because its power is packed in a compact body.

Unfortunately:

 It doesn’t offer optical image stabilization, but since most of the new Olympus cameras come with one within the body, the fact becomes less critical. The lens can take color-neutral, razor-sharp images, with the sharpness being relatively constant throughout the zoom range. I have yet to encounter vignetting issues, and the pictures are lively. The focus system is fast and responsive, and the only objection goes to the limiting aperture, which can cause problems under dim lighting.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Great design
  • Autofocus
  • Image Sharpness

Cons

  • No OIS
  • Narrow aperture

Sony 18-105mm f/4G Lens

The optical image stabilization offers stunning results even at 105mm. The range is sufficient to cover almost any photographic situation.

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The best Sony lens for travel offers a minimum aperture of an f/22 with a minimum focus distance of 1,48 feet (wide-end) and 3,12 feet (telephoto end), with a maximum magnification ratio of 0,11x. The angle of the view is 76° 15°, and the lens packs seven aperture blades. One of the selling points of the lens and why this Sony is on the list of best lenses for travel photography is its extreme versatility. 

This Sony 18-105mm f/4G lens results are excellent compared with even more expensive gear. The optical image stabilization offers stunning results even at 105mm. The range is sufficient to cover almost any photographic situation, especially when considering the bokeh impeccably.

I used this lens with Sony A6000 most of the time and didn’t face distortion or vignetting issues. Zooming is silent and steady, so you can capture pictures without a tripod. 

The aperture of an f/4 is relatively narrow, but I didn’t have a hard time taking well-lit images, even under difficult lighting conditions. Design-wise, the lens offers fair game, even compared to the more expensive competition. The overall test result provides enough info to conclude that it is one of the best lenses you can use to mount on Sony mirrorless cameras if you want to travel a lot.

Pros

  • Design
  • Versatility
  • OIS
  • Great zoom

Cons

  • Narrow aperture

Best Wide-Angle
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L Lens

The image quality of this lens is probably one of the best Canon has ever produced in the category of wide-angle zoom optics.

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The best travel Canon lens offers a rounded 9-blade diaphragm in combination with a maximum aperture of an f/4 and an angle of view of 108° 10′ to 63°. The maximum magnification sits at 0,23x, and the minimum focus distance is 4,49 inches. One of the reasons why I included this Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L lens on the travel photography lenses list is the full-time manual focus that allows ultimate precision, even in autofocus mode. 

During testing, I noticed that the image quality of this lens is probably one of the best Canon has ever produced in the category of wide-angle zoom optics. Image stabilization offers incredible support in shooting moving objects or waves during windy times. At 16mm, I didn’t notice any issues in corner vignetting or ghosting, and the images retained their crystal-clear sharpness throughout the whole zoom range. 

I was worried that an f/4 lens wouldn’t be able to pull off extra-quality images under dim lighting, but the Canon EF completely blew my mind with stunning images of night skies and rainstorms. Although it can’t offer blurred backgrounds and creamy portraits like its prime counterparts, the lens provides everything you expect from an “L” price range, including stunning and robust design. 

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Superior Image Quality
  • OIS
  • Great design

Cons

  • Price
  • Narrow aperture

Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Lens

The focus is relatively fast. The overall picture quality is good, and the lens offers a good price-to-worth ratio.

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Tamron has three aspherical elements and a handy vibration compensation system packed in a compact and lightweight body. It has an angle of view of 75° 23′ to 8° 15′ and a maximum magnification of 0,29x. Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Diis designed with 19 elements in 15 groups and has seven rounded diaphragms that ensure top photographic quality. 

One of the first things I noticed is the compactness of the body, which is impressive, considering the incredibly versatile focal range. Since the lens comes with image stabilization, I didn’t have to use a tripod to capture incredible snaps of distant objects, which is appreciated if you intend to use the lens as travel gear. At both ends, respectively, it offers excellent results with little to no distortion or vignetting, and the overall sharpness is excellent. 

The focus is relatively fast, although I had issues with slow responsiveness which resulted in some lost images. The overall picture quality is good, and the lens offers an excellent price-to-worth ratio.

Although the aperture is solid and relatively narrow, I didn’t have problems capturing pictures in dark hours. Another excellent point design, since it fulfills all necessary standards to be taken on demanding road trips without worrying too much about damage.

Pros

  • Incredible versatility
  • VC
  • IOS
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Slow focus

Verdict

Getting awesome travel photos is essential and paramount to creating a virtual global presence in the era of social media. To fulfill these digital demands successfully, photographers should acquire high-end optics.

No matter what camera type or brand you use, getting the best camera lenses for travel should be more accessible if you follow the tips outlined in the article above. Feel free to explore further with any of the lenses I share; your travel portfolio will improve.

Now is the time to make the right decision and choose the best lens for your needs. If you are unsure which lens is best for you, we recommend this lens.

You can check out some of our other guides: best lenses for nature photography and wildlife lens guide.

Disclaimer: "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases."

Stacy WItten

Stacy WItten

Owner, Writer & Photographer

Stacy Witten, owner and creative force behind LensesPro, delivers expertly crafted content with precision and professional insight. Her extensive background in writing and photography guarantees quality and trust in every review and tutorial.

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